The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday April 30, 2022 held ward congresses across the country ahead 2023 general elections.
9Janewshub.com.ng reports that the congresses was to elect the 3-man Ad-Hoc delegates who shall in turn elect Party candidates for the 2023 general elections.
However in Oyo State especially in Ibadan metropolis, some members of the party who spoke with journalists who monitored the peaceful exercise in some wards revealed that factions loyal to the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde are not out to partake in the exercise.
Oyo PDP members during the ward congress exercise spoke under condition of anonymity expressed their fear that this may be an illicit plan by the governor to work with panel committee from national body of the political party to manipulate the outcome of the ward congress.
This is however against the stance by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party who had earlier in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon. Debo Ologunagba advised all Party leaders, stakeholders and officials to conduct the exercise without imposition or infringement.
According to the statement, the party’s directive is part of the resolution of the NWC at its 552nd meeting on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 in keeping with its resolve to ensure credible, transparent, free and fair processes in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.
The NWC in the statement advised Party leaders, stakeholders and members at all levels to refrain from any form of imposition, infringement and meddlesomeness in the exercise adding that any evidence of infringement and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Party’s Electoral Guidelines will attract serious consequences including the cancellation of the outcome of such Ad-Hoc Delegate Congresses.
According to the PDP members, the illicit plan is meant to block governorship aspirant of the party and former deputy governor of the state, Barr. Hazeem Gbolarunmi from getting the party governorship ticket.
Gbolarumi had on Tuesday declared his intention to run against the incumbent governor, noting that Makinde has failed in his loyalty he sworn to party leaders of the political party.
He said PDP was established 24 years ago with the primary aim of providing good governance that ensures probity and participatory democracy, which guarantees human rights and fundamental freedoms of all person resident within the state. He, however, noted these aims “has not been fulfilled,” under the Makinde administration, “despite all proposed interventions by stakeholders of the party.”
Prior to the ward congress on Saturday, the governor, Gbolarumi and others on Thursday screened for governorship primary election under the party in the state.
The aspirants were screened by PDP Governorship Screening Committee for the South-West geopolitical zone.
Following the Saturday ward congress, all and sundry had kept their fingers crossed to see what would be the outcome of the PDP adhoc ward congress.